Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sadashiv Amrapurkar Made The Transgender Character ‘Maharani’ Immortal

Yaha ka raja, is jism ke bazaar ka maharaja aur naam maharani….

Sadashiv Amrapurkar, played the unique role of Maharani, a eunuch that was menacing and lethal. He was seriously marvelous and the audiences got hooked. Sadashiv Amrapurkar gave a new definition and viciousness to the transgender character of Maharani in Mahesh Bhatt’s super hit film SADAK. 

This novel character Maharani was first of its kind on Indian screen because the villain was depicted as a transgender who was cruel, merciless brothel mistress. Maharani was engaged in human trafficking and had side-kicks who were also transgender. Repulsive to look at, Sadashiv Amrapurkar etched fear in the minds of cinegoers that still revokes. In fact the role won such admiration for Sadashiv Amrapurkar that he went on to win the prestigious Filmfare Best Villain role beating tough competitors’ like Amrish Puri in SAUDAGAR and Danny Dengzongpa in HUM. 


However readers would be surprised to know that when writer Robin Bhatt narrated the character of Maharani, the ruthless transgender who operates brothels in Mumbai and is a dreaded gang leader, director Mahesh Bhatt had reservation about the role. Bhatt could not imagine in his wildest dream that a transgender, who are always made mockery in Bollywood films playing the central negative character in the movie. 

However Robin Bhatt persuaded Bhatt Sahab about the authenticity of the character. He informed him about several brothels in Mumbai being run by transgenders and he had written the character accordingly.

After lots of cajoling Mahesh Bhatt agreed but somewhere within the hearts he felt the character would misfire. Hence when the role was narrated to Sadashiv Amrapurkar, Mahesh Bhatt opened his heart but to his surprise Sadashiv Amrapurkar’s was delighted at the novel concept of the villains. He assured Bhatt sahab to bring the character alive on the screen. 

True to his words Amrapurkar played the vicious eunuch Maharani with such fineness that it became the second most dreaded performance after Amjad Khan’ Gabbar Singh in SHOLAY. 

What makes Maharani memorable is a blend of humour, malice and wickedness that transformed Maharani into a chilling villain ever portrayed on Indian Screen. 

On the death of the genius actor Sadashiv Amrapurkar; Raaga.Com pays our humble homage.

Actress Tabu Turns 43!

Tabassum Hashmi aka Tabu, has proved her supremacy as an actress par excellence in both the kids of cinema be it the Art House Cinema like MAACHIS (1996), VIRASAT (1997), HU TU TU (1999), ASTITVA (2000), CHANDNI BAR (2001), MAQBOOL (2003), HAIDER (2014) or the entertaining commercial cinema in movies like SAAJAN CHALE SASURAL (1996), BORDER (1997), BIWI NO.1 (1999), HUM SAATH-SAATH HAIN (1999), FANAA (2006), JAI HO (2014). Ands that’s not all the actress has also the distinction of doing many Hollywood movies viz. Mira Nair's American film THE NAMESAKE (2007), and Ang Lee's highly successful adventure film LIFE OF PI (2012).

November 4, marks the birthday of this beautiful and talented actress. Raaga.Com wishes her birthday greeting and takes a long down memory lane how Tabu had to struggle her way to reach the top. 

Listen to Tabu Songs on Raaga.com

When Tabu made her stint in Bollywood it looked a cake walk for her as she was the younger sister of Bollywood actress Farah, who was ruling Bollywood as top notch actress than and also the niece of eminent actress Shabana Azmi. Hence she did not had to struggle much to win roles but despite playing roles under veteran directors like Sagar Sarhadi ( BAZAAR), Dev Anand (HUM NAUJAWAN) and Shekhar Kapur in PREM, Tabu had a poor start. 

All her movies were major debacles and Tabu was on her verge to quit Bollywood. However in the 90’s Tabu got a new recognition with the commercial masala movie VIJAYPATH (1994) opposite Ajay Devgan. What is interesting is that though Tabu made her debut way back in the 80’s yet Filmfare gave her the Best Female Debut Award for VIJAYPATH (1994). The movie set her career rolling. 

Though commercial movies gave her recognition and made her a star but it is art cinema that gave her due as a competent actress. She won two ‘Best Actress National Film Awards’ for MAACHIS and CHANDNI BAR respectively and has won four Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actress in movies like VIRASAT, HU TU TU, ASTITVA, CHANDNI BAR, CHEENI KUM .
She has even been awarded the Padma Shri by the Government of India in 2011.